Apple-Backed Imagination Technologies Announces PowerVR SGX545 Mobile Graphics Chip

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Imagination Technologies today announced the launch of its PowerVR SGX545 graphics IP core, a new, high-end addition to the company's SGX series already used in the iPhone 3GS and third-generation iPod touch. In comparison to the SGX535 used in Apple's current handheld devices, the new SGX545 offers a number of enhancements, including increased performance of 40 million polygons per second (up from 28 million in the SGX535).

Says Tony King-Smith, VP Marketing, Imagination: "Combining our many years of experience in the embedded, mobile and PC-based DirectX graphics worlds, POWERVR SGX 545 takes the possibilities of hand-held graphics to a new level by delivering a full DirectX 10.1 and OpenGL 3.x feature set as well as delivering GPU powered OpenCL heterogeneous parallel processing capabilities for the mobile and embedded markets. This makes POWERVR SGX545 a compelling solution for application processor SoC designers targeting the next generation of netbook and MID mobile products demanding exceptional graphics capabilities."
Imagination Technologies notes that the design has proven in test chips and has already been "licensed by a lead partner." While the partner is unnamed, Apple was revealed as a licensee and investor in Imagination Technologies in late 2008, and raised its stake in the company a few months later, signaling a strong interest in Imagination Technologies' product pipeline.

The PowerVR SGX545 combined with the Dual Core Cortex A9 ARM processor could be an alternative Apple Tablet option to the NVIDIA Tegra 2 platform released yesterday. It's not clear how this combination would compare to the NVIDIA solution in both performance and battery life.

Article Link: Apple-Backed Imagination Technologies Announces PowerVR SGX545 Mobile Graphics Chip
 

ChazUK

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Feb 3, 2008
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Mobile tech is evolving beautifully. Exciting times ahead.
 

Robert M.

macrumors 6502a
Jan 4, 2010
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Well since they're backed by apple, this will more then likely end up in the tablet...
 

martint84

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Jun 28, 2009
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I don't know all that much about the hardware side of things, so here's my question:

Why would this be in the tablet rather than the next gen iPhone this summer?
 

Pressure

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May 30, 2006
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Given that nVIDIA have yet to release any hard numbers on the graphic core in Tegra2 it is hard to say whether it is worse or better right now.

They both share two ARM Cortex A9 cores, so I guess we just need some raw numbers for Tegra2 before we can compare them in any meaningful manner (they did say 2 - 3x higher performance than Tegra1 and that they use the same graphic core).

What puts the final nail in the coffin for Tegra2 to be used by Apple is the lack of a cellular modem, which is needed for the iPhone and, most likely, also the tablet they are designing.
 

danielwsmithee

macrumors 65816
Mar 12, 2005
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Yeah I would guess that this is going in the next gen iPhone and the Tegra 2 in the new tablet. Sounds pretty sweet to me.
 

LagunaSol

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Apr 3, 2003
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Well since they're backed by apple, this will more then likely end up in the tablet...
I would hope Apple would use the best possible processor possible in their tablet (if it exists), even if that processor came from a non-Apple-backed source.
 

TheSpaz

macrumors 604
Jun 20, 2005
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I would laugh so hard if there is no mention of a tablet at this Jan 26-27th event!

Hahahahaha!
 

mattwolfmatt

macrumors 65816
Jun 7, 2008
1,025
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Is anyone else confused/bored with all the chip/graphics/processor talk? I've installed plenty of hard drives and ram, but all this stuff this week is a little over my head.

Let's get back to iphone copy and paste gripes! [dodging snowballs]
 

zombitronic

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Feb 9, 2007
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Surely, all of these mobile graphics improvements will be great for gaming but I would love to see a mobile GUI that really takes advantage of these technologies.
 

ltcol266845

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Aug 25, 2006
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wow, all this tech is exciting! I wonder if Imag Tech licenses the IP like ARM, so conceivably Apple could be building their own silicon out of all these pieces much like nVidia's Tegra2 is an SoC. Really neat!

My guess is the only hardware difference at this level between the Tablet and next gen iPhone is that the Tablet will be outfitted with 2 ARM9's while the iPhone will have 1 ARM9. Even still, those ARM9's are looking really really really impressive.

Though all these low-end mobile chips reminds me of the CPU evolution from the late 90's all over again. Everyone's bored with the desktop CPU market now that Intel is firmly at the head. :)
 

daneoni

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Mar 24, 2006
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I take it that its this GPU chip along with OpenGL & Core Animation that gives the iPhone UI its responsiveness?
 

iDisk

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Jan 2, 2010
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Is anyone else confused/bored with all the chip/graphics/processor talk? I've installed plenty of hard drives and ram, but all this stuff this week is a little over my head.

Let's get back to iphone copy and paste gripes! [dodging snowballs]
Nah the Intel announcements were exciting! I still want to hear about Gulftown though.

The Nvidia announcements are always fun... I really get depressed :( when I think how great of a partner Nvidia would have been for Apple despite Arrandale I think the GPU's will be disappointing for the next refresh. Eventhough I'm seriously trying to hype myself up for ATI graphics.... I think the current gen Macs are the best buys..

I want to hear more MBA & MP & ACD rumors. Unless the tablet will have a IDE built in, their's no realistic way I'll buy it.

Code for life :cool:

iDisk


:apple:
 

Robert M.

macrumors 6502a
Jan 4, 2010
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The 7" perhaps. The 10" might get the nVidia.
I didn't think about that! Do you still think it's going to be a 7inch one? I forgot all about it! lol

Also yes, this could be for the iPhone. Hopefully I'm wrong and they use the nVidia one! (If it's more powerful) :D
 

Robert M.

macrumors 6502a
Jan 4, 2010
761
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Do you guys think the nVidia chip would be overkill, if the tablet just plays Appstore games?

If they do put the nVidia one in there hopefully some developers will make "tablet" only games! I want someone to push it to it's limits. :cool:
 

adamw

macrumors 6502
Sep 22, 2006
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I see this announcement as a shot across the Nvidia bow, to take some of the steam out of their Tegra 2 announcements yesterday.

Apple will more than likely use this chip in all upcoming new and revised products from the iPhone, iPod Touch, the iSlate (Tablet), and in many other mobile and low powered products.
 

commander.data

macrumors 65816
Nov 10, 2006
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So how does this SGX 545 differ from the much publicized SGX543MP multicore GPUs? Given that SLI and Crossfire can be finicky, I guess a single big, fast GPU is still more ideal than combining multiple smaller, slower cores.
 
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